By Braeden Mincher, Social Media Manager
No matter how many good deeds your business does, just one slip up and it seems that people are at your throat the minute it happens. Business reputation could definitely be the most important to uphold. However, sometimes… things (unfortunately) just happen.
Let’s take the infamous BP oil spill for example. One of the worst oil spills in history with more than 200 million gallons of basic oil that invaded the Gulf of Mexico for an overwhelming total of 87 days. With 11 human casualties and over 8,000 animal causalities, it took a little more than “oops, sorry.” to fix this blunder.
BP went above and beyond to get their reputation back, and although many of us won’t forget about the spill, we can at least give BP props for their recovery. The company first took responsibility for the mayhem and clean-up process. BP also compensated the people affected and followed up with them to see how they were doing. They are now conducting long-term research to increase their knowledge about the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem in order to have a better understanding of the impact of oil spills around the world. Nicely played, BP.
Not every business disaster suffers from that much damage; there could be harmless mistakes that could make your business look silly and unprofessional. A perfect example of this is the JC Penny’s Super Bowl tweets. What initially seemed to be a JCP media rep kicking one too many back followed by a string of misspelled and crazy tweets, apparently ended up being someone trying to tweet with mittens on! Silly us.
In reaction to everybody thinking whoever ran the JCP twitter account was having a little too much fun at a super bowl party, JCP encouraged everyone to tweet with mittens, of course to promote the fact that the store sells mittens. Whether that was the case, the world may never know. But was this a brilliant marketing scheme or a sneaky cover up?
If your dilemma is as big as BP or as harmless as JCP, these helpful hints can help you pull yourself out the hole that you dug yourself in.
- Take responsibility. Raise your hand and own up to it because nothing is worse than denying the truth when all fingers point towards you. Taking responsibility is the first step and everyone can respect an honest business.
- Respond. Answer the questions people have for you. No matter if the questions are spun in a negative way; make sure your responses are professional without dancing around the question.
- Be honest. Do I really need to elaborate on that?
- Use humor. Unless you’re BP...then don’t use that approach. If your blunder is small and can turn a frown upside-down then by all means, humor me.
- Ensure that your customers come first. Make sure you keep your clients in mind first and foremost, and let them know that you’re acting on their best interest in order to fulfill their needs.
Hopefully you and your business will never experience a negative situation. But as we all know, life is unpredictable and sometimes things just happen. By using these helpful hints, it can help you sway positive public opinion and save your reputation.
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